Sunday, November 16, 2008

Guns & Cannoli

There's a line from The Godfather that has become famous, even an ironic moral manifesto of sorts. After the Corleone family employee Clemenza oversees the execution of a turncoat, he calmly tells his associate to "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." It's a line you'll see referenced often in pop culture. The writer Sarah Vowell reflects on its meaning here, and Slate magazine explains why mob hit men are instructed to drop their guns at the scene of the crime. You can see the movie clip here.

But watching some of it again last night (for what, the 200th, 300th time?), I remembered that there's a line I like even more. While Michael is hiding out in Sicily, after killing a rival mobster and a corrupt police captain, he stumbles across a beautiful girl while on a walk in the hills. Their eyes lock for several seconds before she turns away and rejoins her family. His native bodyguard warns him, however, that "in Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns." He didn't listen, of course, later marrying the girl. But enough about me and my Godfather fixation. What's your favorite line from the movie?

9 Comments:

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no Godfather expert, but boy there are so many great lines and conversations.

Clemenza: "All right, you just shot 'em both. Now what do you do?"
Michael: "Sit down and finish my dinner."

Neve

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Love of food is certainly a recurring theme.

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous MilesB said...

Right. And the Sopranos carried on this love of food tradition. What is it about mobsters and food? We need an essay on that topic.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

It's Italians and food, Miles. Can't have one without the other. Mobsters are just a small subset.

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Ken Kesegich said...

Sonny, setting up the planting of the gun in the restaurant bathroom for Michael: "I want someone good, very good, to plant that gun. I don't want my brother coming out of the bathroom with just his dick in his hand."

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Forgot about that one, Ken. Thanks for stopping by.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger Pho said...

Under a legal doctrine called justiciability, the Supreme Court will refrain from deciding most questions involving foreign affairs. In explaining to my class the underlying theory that in foreign affairs, the three branches of government shouldn't be seen arguing I invoked Don Corleone's admonition to Sonny, "Don't ever let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking."

BTW anytime I read Sarah Vowell I hear in my head her creaky Violet Incredible voice reciting the essay.

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That is indeed a classic line from the movie, and the way you use it in class made me chuckle, Scott. How's that new legal column coming along, by the way?

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Wow, this is kind of a freaky occurrence: I just learned from reading my friend Mike Quinn's blog that the aforementioned Sarah V. was actually in Cleveland yesterday, appearing at the Cleveland Public Library. He happened to be on hand for it:

http://writingfortheear.blogspot.com/2008/11/culture-in-cleveland.html

 

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